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Jul 3, 2012 05:36 AM

LA Restaurant Needed - West Hollywood/Beverly Hills/Santa Monica [moved from General Topics board]

Hi -

Headed to LA for one night and need a fun,yummy restaurant to take our three boys to - we don't want a chain but also want to be comfortable enough with three kids that we can enjoy our meal. Boys are 9, 8 and 5 and are well-behaved (really!) Good atmosphere, good food, perhaps Asian fare but open to any?! Tried Mozza but it's booked. Any suggestions?

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    1. re: wienermobile

      Here's another:

      I'm going to sound like a broken record, but I think FIG would be a great choice. Comfortable yet somewhat upscale, kid-friendly, fantastic food. And if you go between 5 PM and 6 PM, nearly everything (including drinks) is 50% off during "FIG at Five" (call to make a reservation).

      OP, don't know where you're from or what cuisines are available to you, but if you could venture a bit out of the areas you listed, you could go to Koreatown for KBBQ. That'll fit the "Asian fare" aspect of your request, and kids generally love the whole cooking-at-your-table thing.

      The top recs are usually Park's for great beef, Don Dae Gam for great pork, and many many others. I like Soowon Galbi for a good all-around place. If you don't want to go that far out, you could do Japanese yakiniku, which is the same general concept. Tokyo Kalbi in West L.A. is a great choice.

      1. re: PeterCC

        +1 For Park's BBQ, My kids love it. Wonderful meats cooked at your table with great Korean Flavors and great service.

        1. re: wienermobile

          I was thinking the same thing, but didn't know if they wanted to venture downtown & sometimes trying to cross the city at rush hour to get to dinner at a decent dinner hour is very difficult.

    2. When I was that age my Dad brought me to (the old, West Hollywood) Spago when I visited LA. Never forgot it. Saw Roger Moore AND Sean Connery having dinner - two Bonds!!!!
      I think (the new, Beverly Hills) Spago maybe getting renovated this summer but if not I would go there (assuming money is no object and your kids are as well-behaved as you say).
      Otherwise look at
      Matsuhisa or Nobu
      The Grill on the Alley
      Salt's Cure

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ciao Bob

        I love your suggestions, but I would not take a 9, 8 & 5 year old to places as expensive as CUT or Matsuhisa!! Most kids are just not sophisticated enough to appreciate the cost of a dinner there.

        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

          <<Most kids >>
          Agree 100%, dwo, however, the OP tried Mozza which I find fairly expensive and sophisticated, so I assume we are dealing with some precocious future-hounds. I should point out that there is a large price dichotomy in my suggestions between the first 4 and the last 4.

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Yes, you are probably right..... I have taken my kids to Mozza before when they were younger, so it's definitely doable. That lasagne is to die for....

      2. When I read the word "fun", I think of chains, unfortunately. Like Benihana & Buca Di Beppo.... But I don't think that's what you're looking for. But know there are two of them here in Santa Monica.

        Mexican is very prevalent out here & you can find many family friendly spots all over the city. In Santa Monica, Border Grill is a good spot and has kids plates, in addition to more refined Latin plates. There's an El Torito Grill,(I know, another chain!) but it's a nice one in Beverly Hills. You may want to venture east a bit to mid -city and check out the Farmers Market at 3rd & Fairfax. It's touristy, but Loteria Grill is a good Mexican bet there, plus there are other spots, in case not everyone is in agreement. There's also another branch of Loteria opening on the 3rd street Promenade, but don't think they are open just yet.

        As far as Asian, a robata grill / itzakaya type place may fit the bill. Just off of the Santa Monica promenade is a place called Musha. It's very similar to bars in Tokyo, and it's not all sushi. But beware it is small, and popular. There is also another spot in the Santa Monica Place mall, at the southern end of the Promenade, called Ozumo. Haven't been personally, but know it is there. At the other end of Santa Monica is Typhoon, at the SM airport, that is Pan Asian, and may be fun for your boys to watch the planes come in & take off.

        Hope that helps!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Dirtywextraolives

          > When I read the word "fun", I think of chains...

          TMI!!! Oh, you meant restaurant chains? ;-)

          1. re: PeterCC

            LMAO..... ! Thanks, I needed that laugh!!

          2. re: Dirtywextraolives

            Loteria on 3rd st Promenade is open - atho about 3 weeks ago, service had kinks....

          3. You don't mention when you're coming to LA but we have dined @ Plancheck on Sawtelle with a 5 year old and it was perfect. The food is outstanding...he loved their Short Rib Pot Roast that's served with cubed, highly seasoned root vegetables. Their Smokey Fried Chicken is my's, imo, the best fried chicken in LA. We all began our meal with a delicious Butter Lettuce Salad and accompanied our meal with their Sweet Potato Waffle Fries. Finished the entire meal with made-to-order Crueller Donuts, hot, served with bananas and whipped cream. The portion sizes are perfect...small and just the right amount of food. The service is outstanding and friendly. I can't think of a better place to take's a casual, noisy, busy place. Street parking and valet service. Excellent.

            6 Replies
            1. re: latindancer

              I have been wanting to try them for some time, but knew no one who had tried them yet. Thanks for the rec, will be trying them soon.

              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                +1 for Plan Check. Their Pastrami Nosh Sandwich is wonderfuly delicious as is their smokey fried chicken. Great burgers too all from the original Umami executive chef.

                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  I would be remiss if I didn't mention their outside dining....casual tables/chairs right on Sawtelle. Also their booths that make dining with kids easy. Their dessert menu also offers ice cream bars.
                  It'll always be our 'go-to' place for dining with children because the food is that outstanding, not 'over the top expensive' and portion sizes are perfect. You will not be disappointed.

                  1. re: latindancer

                    We went for lunch today and you were so right! We weren't disappointed and EVERYTHING was delicious!! Both kids had the PCBs, plain burgers with the dashi Americanized cheese, no frou frou toppings for these two! They loved them, I have to say, they were juicy, soft & delicious! I got the southern fry chicken sandwich, really tasty, I couldn't leave any of it behind, though I was getting full! But the surprise star, that butter lettuce salad with the pickled egg, smoked almonds, crisped cheddar, apple & creamy mustard dressing - I will be attempting to recreate this at home, but Wow! It was wonderful! Can't wait to take my hubby soon. I am jealous of those who work or live in that neighborhood, what a jewel!

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      Glad you and your kids like it :). That butter lettuce salad is really outstanding.

                      1. re: latindancer

                        Yes, you were right, it really is superb. I can't wait to try to replicate it at home! Thanks again!

              2. Take the kids to Katsuya. I am most familiar with the Brentwood location. My grandkids love this restaurant. Something yummy for everyone and kid-friendly.